The Garden City Telegram
3/9/2013
SOUTHWEST LIFE

Plantar fasciitis, waiting in doctor's office, a real pain

So much for running.

Before last week's newspaper was out, I was hobbled.

Last week, I wrote a column about my new-found enjoyment of running, and now I'm on the disabled list.

My personal doctor (also my wife) diagnosed me with plantar fasciitis.

She tells me it's the inflammation of the tendon that runs from the ball of your foot to the heel.

All I know is it hurts — a lot — and you shouldn't try and run on it.

I did try and actually made it through my little morning run. Of course, I barely made it up the stairs after that, and that was my last run since.

What started out as a minor annoyance — a twinge here and there that I mostly chalked up to getting older — turned walking into a real chore.

The thought of plantar fasciitis did cross my mind. My wife had the same problem a few years ago, and athletes get it, but I was thinking it was the age thing.

My wife had to have a cortisone injection and has had few problems since.

I was counting on it just going away on its own.

After all, the pain started Monday, and I ran through it. It even felt a little better after running. Tuesday, I could barely walk, but still, I was hoping Wednesday would be better.

It was better, probably because I didn't run. So I thought by Thursday, I would be on the road to recovery.

I wasn't. It hurt as much, so I did what I hoped to avoid. I called the doctor.

It's not that I try and avoid doctors. I get regular checkups, but it just takes too long.

I don't like waiting — for anything.

The last time I waited for anything and thought it was worth it was when my daughter and I went to see Bruce Springsteen in concert. He was late getting on stage, but he played for more than three hours, so it was well worth the wait.

But Springsteen wasn't in the doctor's waiting room.

Instead, there were forms to fill out, a television tuned into some talk show, old magazines, and people who were sick, so I made sure I didn't sit next to them.

Then, when they finally called my name, it was just to take me back to the doctor's small exam room for more waiting.

This time there is no television or old magazines, just time.

By the time the doctor comes in, I'm wondering if I just could have held out for one more day, and maybe the foot would have healed itself.

So finally, the doctor comes in and asks a few questions.

He initially diagnosed it without looking at the foot, but eventually did poke around it, causing more pain.

I now have rubber heals in my shoes to reduce the pain of walking.

I am taking anti-inflammatory medicine and doing the stretching exercises I was given.

The hope is that all this works and the pain goes away.

If not, I could be looking at rehab and then a shot of cortisone.

My wife says I should have just asked for the shot. And if the pills and exercises don't get me back running soon, I will wish I had avoided all this and got the shot.

In the meantime, I'm taking it easy and leaving the treadmill to my kids.

I never thought I'd miss running. I better heal quickly before I get used to sitting around.

Patrick Murphy, of Humphrey, Neb., is a former assistant managing editor of The Telegram.